A freebie show, unannounced; a make-up gig just for people of Lille. On the Belgian border, it's the closest they played to Brussels, but since the promoter wouldn't refund people for the earlier gig, it went unpromoted. It wasn't the band's fault, but they still set up a simple stage, quietly, in a parking lot in the city center and played for free. Much of E72 has great 1st sets and then getting sloppier, but this one takes a long warm up. On the official release, One More Saturday Night is the final song, and not an encore - which is possible, since they hadn't played an encore in Amsterdam. However, there are three myths in Dead lore associated with the show:
1st myth. "They played during a fair on a fairground". They set up on the Champs de Mars (Mars Park is a traditional French name for the local military marching ground, which became public parks under Napoleon - in this case a paved lot), at Bois de Boulogne, which is the park at Citadelle de Lille. It's an open lot where carnivals/fun fairs often set up, hence the confusion.
2nd myth. "Angry, free-concert-demanding hippie-kids in Paris were rebuffed by the crew. One retaliated against the band by pouring sugar in the equipment trucks". Sugar-in-the-gas is an urban myth (Mythbusters Ep15 – Scuba Diver and Car Capers). It made a good band legend, but the band's truck just simply broke down and they missed the May 6 gig. The schedule opening was fortuitous because, with 4 days until Amsterdam, they were able to run back across the Channel and up to the Bickershaw Festival (which had developed a big buzz) for the second of 3 trips to England.
3rd myth. "Big River is missing from most sources". The song used to erroneously show up on set lists for Lille but in fact it wasn't worked up yet. It had been played just once, with Jer singing. Though it was soundchecked (casually, with Jer still singing) at the following gig in Luxembourg, it didn't enter show rotation until September.
First Set. The playing is typical for E72 through Beat it on Down the Line-8½. Mr. Charlie
is slower than most from the tour - maybe it's the impending rain. Though the playing has been above average, it then becomes essentially perfect, with the back half of the set just stellar - except for the usual Donnaskreech™ in Playing
Second Set. An ace Truckin'
becomes an equally notable The Other One
. Check out Bobby @2>4 minutes, under Jer. He quickly goes wayyy out and after the first verse it just as quickly goes right back to the same place. This was happening at the end of the tour more and more - like they had gotten used to how far they could take the Euro listeners. In his bio Billy says, "Europe had a lot of moments that we were able to stretch to infinity. That tour was really sponsored by The Other One". This is a perfect example - serious acid jazz freakout, if you like the way out. He's Gone
is as perfect as Amsterdam; a great example of the first arrangement. A Teddy Bear's Picnic
tunes for an average Hurts Me Too
and Donna forgoes a great Sugar Mag. Not Fade Away
has Pig organ. Though Bobby is out of tune, it's still a great Goin' Down the Road Feeling Bad
- even Donnaskreech™ can't mar it with Jer this inspired. Though Bobby can sure try to do so back into Not Fade
. Not fade dawahhhchch! One More Saturday Night
is an over-and-done-with.
Overall = 4½ Stars
First Set from China Cat Sunflower through Mexicali - near perfection
Truckin' - as good as Düsseldorf and 5/24.
The Other One - listen to Bobby's playing
He's Gone - like Amsterdam, great example of the first arrangement
Sugar Magnolia - sans Donna, Bobby on a dime
Goin' Down the Road Feeling Bad - one of the best E72s
SOURCES: The SBD sources that circulate, such as ladner.3457
, seem to all be pitched 1% slow.